All three of these wonderful authors have written a novella for the Honky Tonk Hearts series published through The Wild Rose Press. I've been looking forward to conducting this interview for some time so let's get started.
Tell us something about yourselves both writing and not writing related.
Sherri Thomas (author of Lost Memories):
First off I want to say thank you for inviting me to be on your blog today. I am honored to be in such wonderful company. Growing up in the city I never knew what my life was missing until my husband and I moved our four children out to the country. I love waking in the morning and opening the curtains to the sight of pasture and woods, chickens and horses, dogs and cats. Living here has been a dream come true and has definitely enhanced my experiences, which I think shows in my writing. Occasionally, you will even find one of my beloved animals in my stories so watch for them.
Laurie Robinson (author of Sing To Me Cowboy):
Thanks, Katherine for inviting us to your blog today! I was born and now live in Minnesota, but spent most of my ‘growing up’ years in Kansas, which is where I met and married my hubby. We have three sons, three granddaughters, two step grandsons and three granddogs. I write western romances, most are historicals, but when I saw the request for the Honky Tonk Hearts series, I had to try my hand at a contemporary.
Brenda Whiteside (author of The Morning After)
If you look close and not so close at my manuscripts, there is a consistent theme of discovery. My heroines and heroes are discovering things about themselves. These discoveries take place during an adventure that is both within and in the physical world. I think I like this theme because it’s what I consider life to be. I am always making discoveries about myself and about what I want out of life. My husband and I recently moved to prairie country in Northern Arizona. We’re in a rambling farmhouse with my son and his wife with three dogs and a cat between us. My husband has retired but spends a good deal of time tending the orchard. I spend time in the garden and the blackberry rows. We’ve been city folk. Living with others and farming – let me tell you there are plenty of discoveries to make about ourselves!
Sherri: Every morning after my four children went to school and hubby went to work, I sat in my favorite overstuffed chair and wrote. Now with summer vacation underway and me obtaining a day job… routine is no longer in my vocabulary. I write every second I can.
Lauri: I work full time so the majority of my writing takes place in the evenings and weekends, and most is done on my laptop in the living room while hubby is watching TV.
Brenda : I have a warm weather routine and a cold weather routine. Right now, with the heat, I have to get my farm chores done early even though I prefer to write in the morning. I rise between 5:00 and 6:00. Once my coffee is brewing, I check email, Facebook and do any promo tasks needed. By 8:30, I’m in the garden. Around 10:30, I’m back in the house for yoga or some other exercise. While I eat lunch, I check email and promo stuff again. I write from 1:00 until about 4:30. After dinner and one television program, I’ll write or read for an hour before bed.
I work full time too and try to write when in the evenings or like Sherri, every second I can. Lauri, I'm impressed you write with the TV on. I sit in the dining room when I write but I have to be sure to sit where I can't see the television otherwise no writing gets done. Wow, Brenda you have a very busy routine.
Sherri: I have always loved country life, the air, the animals, and the cowboys who care for them. There is just something about the way they talk, walk, the rugged sex appeal. I have no definite plans to write in a different genre, but I am open to where ever my hero/heroine take me.
Lauri: Like so many other girls growing up during the era I did, I wanted to grow up and marry little Joe Cartwright. No, that didn’t happen, and several years ago after years of reading western romance novels, I decided to try my hand at writing one. It’s been an amazing journey I’ve enjoyed immensely. I’ve now journeyed into contemporaries as well, but my heroes still wear boots and hats.
Brenda: Romance writing came naturally to me. I didn’t set out to write a romance. My stories are mostly character driven and love seems to follow. I’ve written contemporary, 1945 historical and mystery. I may settle into contemporary and mystery. We’ll see. My latest is mystery and my next two will be spin-offs so also mystery. But I’d love to write a story set in the 1930’s.
Oh I have to agree with you both Sherri and Lauri. Love cowboys. I had a huge crush on Little Joe. Brenda, you must be a plotter. I am a pantser and tried writing a mystery. I thought I did a pretty good job until my reader told me she figured out who the killer was right away. Guess I didn't do a good job layering those clues without actually plotting them out. LOL.
How do you stay motivated when writer's block hits or your muse won't cooperate?
Sherri: Writer’s block … those are two evil words. On the days my hero/heroine decide to hold out on me, I do a lot of catching up on my writing groups, review notes, catch up on my favorite blogs ;)
Lauri: I always have two or three books going at the same time, so if the muse is silent with one, I can usually coax it to the surface of another.
Brenda: I have honestly never had writer’s block. I’ve been having trouble starting the next book, but the story has been brewing in my head. It finally hit me why I was reluctant to put it to the computer – I didn’t like my hero. He was a minor character in my current ms and I thought I wanted him in my next book. Nope. Got a new hero and I’m raring to tell the story now.
You all have great ways to head off writers block. I might have to borrow a couple of them. What's the strangest thing you've ever done in the name of research?
Sherri: What’s the strangest thing you’ve ever done in the name of research? Well I can’t say that I have done anything too strange, but not having never been on an airplane it is kind of odd to see the world through your computer. :o)
Lauri: I wanted to know what it felt like to shoot a six-shooter, so for Christmas hubby bought me a gorgeous birds-eye handle one and a class to obtain a conceal and carry permit. I now love pistol shooting and look forward to when we go to our property up north where I practice shooting the heads off cattails growing in the swamp.
Brenda: I called the department of marriage licenses in Amarillo, Texas to find out their laws. In my newest release, The Morning After, my heroine does this. In order to get the feel for how the conversation would go, well, I pretended to be her.
What's the best writing advice you were ever given?
Sherri: Simple – KEEP WRITING!
Lauri: Write what you love.
Brenda: Write every day, for whatever time you have. I did that with Honey On White Bread. A good part of that book was written in fifteen minutes each morning before I left for my day job. Now, a day without writing is incomplete.
Great advice. What do you like to do in your leisure time?
Sherri: What do you like to do in your leisure time? My top two favorite things to do is spend time with my family and horseback riding. Reading a good romance novel and ATVing through our woods run a close second.
Lauri: Spending time with our granddaughters. Everything from fishing to tea parties, neither Papa nor I can get enough of them! Other than when we have them overnight, then, when they go home, we take naps.
Brenda: Farming isn’t exactly leisure time, but I do enjoy “playing in the dirt” as my husband calls it. I also love to ride behind him on the motorcycle. And travel. Love to travel.
Tell us about your current release in a couple of sentences.
Sherri: When your past is a blank, it’s hard to trust the future… A car accident leaves Darcy Brooks with amnesia, but she’s determined it won’t ruin her life and finds a job on a dude ranch—hiding her brain trauma to get it—and falls in love with her work. Now if she can just avoid falling in love with her boss. Nick Matthews values Darcy as an employee and a friend—even as the heat between them builds. But when a man claiming to be Darcy's husband shows up, Nick realizes just how much he wants to keep Darcy for himself.
Lauri: Sing to Me Cowboy is a reunion story about the one that got away and wishing they hadn’t.
Brenda: Abigail’s been a bridesmaid twice but never the bride. Bobby’s been married twice but never really in love. It’s the story of love at first sight, spontaneity and misunderstandings which make for a fun romp.
They all sound wonderful. I have a feeling my Kindle will be getting some new downloads. Can you tell us a little about your next projects?
Sherri: Right now I am struggling with the secondary characters from Lost Memories. It seems Nick’s brothers all want their own story. Trent is demanding his story be told first. It seems he can’t wait any longer to be with Jordan (Darcy’s best friend).
Lauri: In September I have two western historicals being released from Harlequin and another one from them in October.
Brenda: It’s called The Art of Love and Murder and is the first of a three book series. Lacy Dahl’s research uncovers secrets about the mother she never knew; secrets that dispute the identity of her father and threaten her life. When Sheriff Chance Meadowlark comes to her rescue, she begins to think their present is more important than her past…until his connection to her mother and a murder spin her deeper into danger and further from love.
The Art of Love and Murder sounds fascinating, Brenda. Congratulations, Lauri on your upcoming releases. Sherri, I know exactly what you're going through. I just was struggling with the same issue.
Anything else you'd like to share with us?
Sherri: Stop by The Wild Rose Press and read all the wonderful stories from the Honky Tonk Hearts series. I will be sure to post the release date for LOST MEMORIES. Follow or contact me at www.facebook.com/sherrithomasromance www.sherrithomas.blogspot.com and/or
Lauri: Sing to Me Cowboy was my first experience writing for a series that includes several stories by different authors, and has been a tremendous amount of fun! I’m enjoying reading the other stories as much as I enjoyed writing one. www.laurirobinson.blogspot.com
Brenda: The Morning After is only one book in The Honky Tonk Hearts series from The Wild Rose Press. There’s a common thread running through all of these very unique and individual stories. I had great fun writing it and hope everyone will enjoy reading it. Thanks for having me Katherine!
You're welcome, Brenda. Thanks ladies for letting me interview you and giving us a peek into the window on your world.
Check out the great blurbs and excerpts for Sherri, Lauri, and Brenda's novellas below. I have to say you won't be disappointed.
Lost Memories by Sherri Thomas
Blurb: When your past is a blank, it’s hard to trust the future…
A car accident leaves Darcy Brooks with amnesia, but she’s determined it won’t ruin her life. She finds a job on a dude ranch—hiding her brain trauma to get it—and falls in love with her work. Now if she can just avoid falling in love with her boss.
Nick Matthews knows his new employee is hiding something, and he’s determined to discover what. He’s failed to protect his family from disaster in the past and won’t let it happen again. Now if he can just keep his attraction to Darcy from clouding his judgment.
Nick soon comes to value Darcy as an employee and a friend—even as the heat between them builds. But when a man claiming to be Darcy's husband shows up, Nick realizes just how much he wants to keep Darcy for himself.
Darcy rose onto her elbows. Yuck. Her jeans were caked with the mud and who knew what else. Anxious to get out of the stench, she placed her palm on Nick’s. Her heart skipped a beat, and she forgot to breath.
He tugged on her arm pulling her to her feet. She slammed into his chest as his arm went around her waist. The momentum made her step back into one of Horace’s holes, knocking them both off balance, and her on top of his hard chest. Air whooshed from her lips. She stared at him in horror.
Oh, God, he was sure to fire her now.
“I’m so sorry. Did I hurt you?” She moved her leg, catching her boot on the cuff of his jeans.
Specks of mud splattered his face. She bit her lip to keep from laughing as she wiped the dirt from his cheek, making the damage ten times worse. His skin was warm and bristly under her finger. She quickly withdrew her hand.
His thump swiped a clump of sludge off her check.
She sucked in a breath. This was not right. The way her body succumbed to one touch of his hand was wrong.
Nick moved his leg. Every hard inch of him pressed into her flesh, branding her to him. He tucked a stray curl behind her ear.
A spark ignited in her toes and heat worked through her body. His chest rose and fell in a rapid pace beneath her palms, but her own air suspended in her lungs. She fought a wild urge to rake a fingernail over his unshaved jaw and pulled her knees up in an effort to get to her feet. Large hands encased the back of her thighs in a stilling motion, and she ending up straddling him as he rose to a sitting position. A helpless gasp robbed her of speech.
His eyes strayed to her lips.
Her stomach fluttered. Ripples of anticipation churned deep inside. She forced herself to look away. His magnificent body was off limits. He's my employer for goodness sake.
She gave herself a mental shake and swallowed the moan rising in her throat.
Why don’t I feel this way around Sam, Trent, or Chris?
“I must look quite a sight,” She commented trying to escape her own thoughts.
“We both do.” He smirked, revealing a devilish indentation in his left cheek.
When did he get a dimple? She didn’t remember seeing one before.
Muscles flexed under her, the warmth of him seeped through her jeans. She glanced away wondering how to talk her jelly filled muscles into getting up. Failing to persuade her body her sights returned to his seconds later. Green specks highlighted his brown orbs - another new finding to keep the breath from my lungs.
Sing To Me Cowboy by Lauri Robinson
Blurb: Heather Gibson's past catches up with her one dark Texas night.
Blurb: Heather Gibson's past catches up with her one dark Texas night.
Locked in a custody battle with an ex-husband who's looking for any excuse to take her children, Heather doesn't need any more trouble. But when a broken-down car and a dead cell phone leave her stranded at the Lonesome Steer Honky Tonk, she comes face-to-face with the one man who could jeopardize everything—including her heart.
Country-singing sensation Lance Dugan is back in Amarillo for his grandfather's birthday and to take care of a bit of unfinished business—apologize to Heather for leaving ten years ago. Lance has fought hard and won big the last few years, but seeing Heather again makes him wonder if he's been fighting for the right things.
Finding each other again may seem like fate, but one horrible secret, buried deep, could divide them forever.
“Hey? Are you all right?”
The shiver that zipped up her spine caught in her throat with the power to strangle the life out of her. There are certain voices one never forgets—and a first love ranked very near number one.
Heather fought for air. It couldn’t possibly be him. He was in Nashville, where all the famous singers hung out.
“Excuse me, Miss?”
Her hands trembled as air finally entered her lungs. Could this night get any worse? Could her life get any worse?
Pushing off her knees, she straightened her spine, and wasn’t surprised the strangling sensation came back full force. Her heart—as if it wasn’t already racing—shifted into overdrive.
It was him.
Lance Dugan. From his George Strait-out-of-the-box-hat to his un-scuffed Justin boots.
The last person she’d ever expected to see. The last person she’d want to see in the shape she was right now.
Inhaling until her lungs threatened to burst, she squared her shoulders and wished she was back in her car, sweating to death, being eaten by wild beasts, anything but standing face to face with him.
Lance grabbed the fender of the pickup truck next to him just to stay upright. It was if the ground was rising up to meet him. Few things shocked him, but this did.
“Heather? Heather Childs?”
Her smile could still knock his socks off, even though tonight, in the muted light of the parking lot, her grin appeared strained. The rest of her on the other hand, looked just as good as if they’d graduated yesterday instead of ten years ago. Bits of light caught in her golden-brown hair, making it shine and sparkle as brightly as it had when she’d been cheering the football team on. The shorts that hugged her thighs proved her legs were as long and limber as they had been when she’d worn her tiny cheerleading skirt, which had never failed to catch his eye.
“Yes, Lance,” she answered, with the voice that still haunted him at times. “It’s me. But if you recall, it’s Heather Gibson.”
The name hit him like a cold shower. Needing to keep that reaction well-hidden, he let go of the truck and bent down to pick up the leather bag that sat by her feet. Handing it over, Lance admitted, “Yes, I do recall. How’s Matt?”
To purchase Sing to Me, Cowboy go to:
The Morning After by Brenda Whiteside
Blurb: Can there really be love at first sight?
Abigail Martin doesn’t think so. Unless the sexy redheaded stranger she wakes up with the morning after her best friend’s wedding is telling the truth.
Bobby Stockwood fell cowboy-hat-over-boot-heels for the brown-haired beauty, and married her in an impromptu wedding ceremony. Now he just has to convince his new bride that the morning after can be the first day of the rest of their lives.
But just when Abigail starts believing the fairy-tale is real, she finds out exactly who Bobby is, and the walls of make-believe start crumbling down.
The man rolled to his back, kicking off covers.
Abigail gasped. Her gentleman visitor wore only a bow tie and black socks.
She crept to the edge of the bed. His face was turned away, further hidden by red curls hanging down the nape of his neck and onto his cheek. A visual sweep of the attractive body brought a smile to her face when she paused on his more than ample endowments. A true redhead. An encounter of this magnitude should be easy to remember.
Abigail smiled in spite of her throbbing temples. Inching closer, she nudged his boots aside with her foot and leaned over to see his face. Mmm. He smelled good, like rich leather and fresh cut wood. As she bent to get a closer look, Kirby, her sixteen-pound Siamese cat, entered her room and announced his hunger.
The visitor stirred, grasped her arm, drawing her down across his hips.
He rose up on his elbows and looked at her. “So, Abby, you’re a morning person, are you?”
Abigail launched off the bed, trying not to come into contact with anymore of the warm body than she already had. Tripping over the boots, she ended up sprawled on the floor. “Who…” She gulped. “Who the hell are you?”
What did I tell you? Great blurbs and excerpts. Not to mention the fabulous covers.